There are two bed bug species that closely associated with humans are Cimex lectularius (Linnaeus) - the common bed bug, and Cimex hemipterus (Fabricius) - the tropical be bug. However, the species that found in Singapore is the tropical beg bug (C. hemipterus).
Due to the lack of information on the tropical bed bug, most of the pest management companies in Asia (especially Singapore and Malaysia) often refer the bed bugs that they encountered as the common bed bug (C. lectularius) but it was actually the tropical bed bug (C. hemipterus).
The common bed bug (C. lectularius) is generally found in temperate regions of the world (e.g. Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom). The tropical beg bug (C. hemipterus), on the other hand, is found mostly in the warmer tropical and subtropical regions such as Asia.
In a survey conducted between 2005 and 2008 in Malaysia and Singapore at hotels, public accommodations and residential premises, C. hemipterus, the tropical bed bug, was the only species found.
When you check into a hotel, what is the first thing that you should do? Check the mattress for any bed bugs. Yes, you should do that even though you are staying in a four or five star hotel.
In the early 1950’s through the late 1990’s, bed bugs almost disappeared entirely, at least in the developed countries. Then in the late 1990s, report of bed bugs began to increase and became a worldwide phenomenon capturing all the attentions from the news media.
Many factors have contributed to the sudden resurgence of bed bugs; rapid urbanization, increased in international travelling, lack of knowledge and awareness of bed bugs among the publics, changes in pest management practices and resistance to insecticides.
Misconception started in the mid- 1990’s and they are appearing more and more in the apartments, hotels and motels, nursing homes and hospitals.
Where can I find the bed bugs? Bed bugs are usually found in locations where people sleep or rest for extended periods of time. They prefer to hide in cracks and crevices where they are not likely to be disturbed.
How often they feed? Bed bugs do not need to be fed weekly, they can go for months between feedings. How often bed bugs will feed depends on temperature (27°C is ideal), host availability and its life stage (nymphs have shorter feeding intervals). Under good conditions, a bed bug will feed on a weekly basis.
How bed bugs locate their host?
They are attracted to their host mainly via carbon dioxide and heat.
Some studies have shown that bed bugs can live in low temperature of about 7°C.
Are human the only host? Bed bugs prefer human blood but will also feed on the blood of other animals.
Why do I have bed bugs infestation? If you like to buy things from the flea markets, be careful as you may get more than what you’re bargaining for with those bed bug infested furniture and items.
How do I know if it is a bed bug’s bite? Bite symptoms usually appear in lines or cluster. Bed bugs will usually line up along the edge of a bed sheet when they feed which caused the linear bite marks. Clusters of bites are caused by the bed bugs behaviour of probing prior to initiating a feeding and the sudden involuntary movements of the sleeping host which can cause the bed bug to retract its mouthparts and insert back at a new but nearby location.
Can bed bugs transmit disease? So far, there is no record being documented that the bed bugs transmit any human diseases.
American cockroach, Periplaneta americana (Fabricius) – The is the “big cockroach” commonly encountered in and around homes in Singapore. Usually found in drains, sewers, garbage dumps, etc. About 40 mm in length, very prevalent in Singapore.
German cockroach, Blattella fermanica (Linnaeus) – Commonly found in food establishments (restaurants, hawker stalls, etc.), ships, supermarkets, around homes in the kitchen, etc. About 15 mm in length, very prevalent in Singapore.
Brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa (Fabricius) – Beside food preparation areas, they can be found inside office, bedroom, etc. About
14 mm in length, prevalent in Singapore.
Smooth cockroach, Symploce pallens (Stephen) – Usually found in food preparation areas. About 15 mm in length, a relatively new species, very prevalent in Singapore.
Surinam cockroach, Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus) – Found outdoors at landscape, plant feeder, usually hide under the soil during the day. About 24 mm in length.
Brown cockroach, Periplaneta brunnea (Burmeister) – Can be found indoors or outdoors at sewers, drains, food storage areas, etc. About 37 mm in length.
Australian cockroach, Periplaneta australasiae (Fabricius) – Usually found outdoors and occasionally indoors. About 33 mm in length.
Harlequin cockroach, Neostylopyga rhombifolia (Stoll) – Usually found outdoors and occasionally indoors. About 35 mm in length.
Can a cockroach live without its head? The giant cockroaches from the family blaberidae can live “headless” for about a month. German cockroach can survive for about 1 week without its head if maintained well. Head is almost dispensable for cockroach because coordination of many neural function for a cockroach is decentralized and breathing occur through spiracles on their exoskeleton and the internal respiratory system called trachea.
Can cockroaches fly? Most of the cockroach species do not fly but adult males of the American cockroach and brown-banded cockroach can fly. There are other species of cockroach that can fly as well.
How long can a cockroach live without water or food?
Depending on the species but most small cockroaches can live up to several weeks without food and a week without water.
Is albino (white) cockroach exists? Newly molted cockroaches are white and often being mistaken as albino cockroaches. The wings and body of a newly molted cockroach will gradually tanned after several hours.
Can a cockroach survive being submerged in water? It is not uncommon to find the American cockroach getting into the house by passing through sewer lines and floor traps because they can survive submerged for several minutes. German cockroach too, can survive 15 minutes being submerged in cold tap water.
Do cockroach common names suggest their origin? Absolutely NOT. The origin of the German cockroach (Blattella germanica) is Asian (previously is known to be African). So why is it called German cockroach? Scientific names to species is actually based on the source of their specimens.
Why do cockroaches die on their backs? Insecticides are the culprits. Neurotoxic insecticides cause tremors and muscle spasm on cockroaches thus cause it to flip on its back. A healthy cockroach can right itself easily but not without the muscle coordination.
There are 4 castes in an ant colony; queen, worker, female and male.
Only the queens are fertile, egg producing female and all workers are infertile females.
The males will die soon after mating and the queen stores enough sperm to last a lifetime.
Ants establish new colonies through swarming and budding.
Swarming. Ever notice a mass of winged ants that swarm and congregate around a fluorescent light? Swarming is a natural phenomenon where winged female and male (commonly known as alates) emerge from nests and fly to a congregation site to mate (mating flights). The fertilized female/queen then searches for a suitable nest site. The new queen will shed her wings and digs into the soil or wood to build a chamber where she will lays eggs.
Ants share food and feed each other by regurgitating liquid food in their social stomach through a process called “trophallaxis”.
We often seen ants carry food crumps on their back. This is because worker ants is incapable of digesting solid food, they can only ingest liquid food and water. Solid food will be fed to the larvae that are capable of digesting solid food which will then share among the colony through trophallaxis.
Ants communicate through pheromones. When a food source is located by a forager, a trail of pheromone is laid on the ground surface on its way back to the colony for the other ants to follow. The pheromone trail is reinforce by these ants when they head back to the colony with food.
Is it true that rodents need to gnaw on objects to keep their incisors short? Not true. They can grind the upper incisors against the lower incisors to keep it short.
Do rats bite? Yes, occasionally. Rats do bite people especially in areas where there is a high rat populations and where rodents live in close proximity to people. Rats that bite a sleeping infant or adult are likely due to the food residues or odors on the person’s fingers or mouth.
Can rodents transmit diseases? Yes. During the 14th century in Europe, the “Black Death” which caused by Plague (a well know disease associated with rats) had killed some 25 million individuals due to the abundance of rats.
Other diseases that associated with rats are:
Rat bite fever (caused by the bacteria Actinobacillus muris and Spirillum minus, which can be found in the saliva of rats)
Leptospirosis (caused by the bacteria Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, usually found in the blood and urine of rodents)
Salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella bacteria, which can be transmitted directly from contaminated surfaces)
Murine typhus (caused by the bacteria Rickettsia typhi that transmitted from rats to human by the oriental rat flea).
Can a rat population expand indefinitely? No. Each site have a certain carrying capacity (available resources) that will limit the reproduction rate of the rat populations. At such, self-regulating mechanism will kick-in for example when the conditions become crowded, reproduction rate decreases, migration to other site increases and the population size will eventually decrease.
So, within a premises, a rat population may increases into the thousands but not millions.
Bottle flies can smell a carcass up to 1.6 km away and it is the first to arrive at the scene within minutes of the death.
In good weather conditions, bottle flies larvae can consume 60% of a corpse in less than a week.
It is important to prevent bottle flies from laying eggs on meat and fish because if ingested, they can remain alive and cause acute gastric and enteric disorder.
A sudden occurrence of large number of bottle flies inside a building may indicate (but not always) the present of animal carcasses such as dead rodent or bird in the building at crawlspaces, wall voids ceilings, etc.
An indoor breeding of bottle flies may also be discovered when maggots fall into homes or workplaces from the ceiling via opening around light fixtures as a result of mature maggots leaving the breeding source and crawl about in search of a place to pupate.
Myiasis – Larvae of a few bottle flies species are carnivores and feed on the living tissues of their vertebrate host causes a condition called Myiasis.